Allison is, in a word, wonderful. For the last week she and I have been texting. The day after I met her she woke me with a text, Good Morning! Every day since then she texts me throughout the day. I enjoy our brief conversations. Though limited by characters and the lack of a true QWERTY pad, I do my best to let on that I'm interested. However, I do my best to leave out the desperation. Sunday night she asked if I'd like to go out with her. Absolutely, I sent. A week, and we'd have a date.
I started making plans for Sunday right away. When she learned that I had worked in intelligence before, she mentioned how much she wanted to visit the International Spy Museum. I purchased two tickets for the museum, as well as the silly little adventure they run. That had to be at least a little fun, and if it was cheesy I could play it off and enjoy it on a cheesy level. When she asked me what I was thinking for the day, I hinted, Top Secret. I don't want to be cryptic, but I expect you to love it.
For an entire week Allison and I chatted throughout most of the day. The more I talked to her, the more I liked her. Finally, here was a girl who challenged me. Here was a girl that not only kept up, but also surpassed me. Being a nerd, I take great pride in my own intellect. I might not be a large butch guy, I might not ever win an arm wrestling competition, but damnit, I was smart at least. That being said, none of the girls I've dated in the past were particularly bright. Honestly, they were never smart enough, and sooner or later we'd run out of things to talk about. Allison was different from all the girls before. Maybe she was special.
I kept an eye on the worsening weather. A large blizzard of record size was to hit the area around Friday, and if it didn't clear by Saturday our plans would be ruined. Luckily, after the predicted snowfall of about 2 feet, the sun was out and shining the next day! Tomorrow, I thought, tomorrow is the day. If I wanted to see Allison again after tomorrow, the date would have to be sublime.
Early Sunday morning I woke and put on layers of clothing. Half yawning, drudged to my car with a shovel and a brush. An hour later and my car was clear enough to leave the street. I walked back into the house, and as soon as I showered my phone chirped. I think I caught a cold, it read. I have a fever. I texted Allison back, asking how she felt. She felt awful, it seemed. We wouldn't be able to go out today.
I spent a few more minutes making sure that she was ok, that someone was taking care of her. I offered to come down and bring soup. She asked for a raincheck on our date, sometime before Christmas. Of course, I said. Just get better.
As I shut my phone my sinking heart suddenly was caught in my throat. That seems to be the luck in my dating. I mulled over the conversations we've had. She usually wrote me first. She's the one who suggested our Sunday date. She didn't seem to be the type of person to make up excuses, plus she asked for a raincheck and offered a day as well. Maybe she really did like me, she just actually got sick with very bad timing.
I sat back, and thought about what was happening. Did I expect for her to fall in love with me? I realized that I had turned Allison into a fantasy person. I had turned this into a silly movie in my head. I was to woo the beautiful woman and things would be perfect. I remembered a tattoo I had permanently inked into my skin. I had gotten it before being stationed overseas. It was a gift to my then very serious girlfriend. Melinda, it said. My first love. My first heartbreak. Now, when I looked in the mirror its meaning changed completely. Mistake, it whispers to me. Falling in love too quickly, too blindly was a mistake. Not again.
Dating isn't perfect. It's not like the movies. Setbacks happen, and sometimes they never get fixed. Some couple will never be, no matter how perfect they seem, or how hard you cheer. I decided to take it easy. I may not be Hugh Grant, but I still have something to offer. I'm still a desirable person, I decided. If things happen, I'd be happy to enjoy them, but I won't stress over every misstep.
So, I'll continue to talk to Allison. I'll keep chatting with Erin. I'm going to keep looking and meeting people. If nothing ever happens, so be it. If I'm alone for a year, two years, what's the rush? There's someone out there that's going to be perfect for me, and she'll be beautiful and intelligent and witty and amazing. And she'll think the same of me.
If Allison wants to go on a date again, though, I won't say no.